We explored lakes and hiked to hidden waterfalls and stood in awe of Canada's glory. We became acquainted over local brews like Big Rock's Honey Brown IPA and Kokono Glacier Ale, and people ate elk, buffalo and venison burgers. Well, the meat-eaters did! We all marvelled at how BIG everything is - the mountains, the prairies, the food, the beer.
Then we walked under the full moon and saw a bull elk in the moonbeams. He was absolutely stunning, must have weighed 1000 pounds. He looked at us in the bus for a few seconds, decided we were too big to take on, and gracefully turned and trotted away under the moonglow. Awesome. Words cannot do justice to the scenery of the last few days, especially from Banff National Park to Jasper National Park, but a few I would use are astonishing, spectacular, and mystical.
The weather was perfect and that added to the enjoyment - a cold crisp day yesterday with a dusting of snow helped to make this wonderland even more fantastic.
Left the city of Vancouver today heading east into Canada's Rocky Mountains. Picked up a fantastic group of international passengers (I was the first loaded onto our mini-bus), with Australians, Japanese, British, Irish, Austrian and Swiss folks all psyched to see the amazing beauty of Canada. Majesty is a more fitting word. We drove east on the trans-Canada Highway, which goes all the way from Vancouver to Halifax. Leaving the city we first saw the Coastal Range up close and personal, and within a few hours were in an arid semi-desert with bone dry conditions, rocky slanted slopes where it looked impossible that anything could grow.